Sura Al-Fatiha (Arabic: سورة الفاتحة‎, Sūratu al-Fātihah, "The Opener") is the first chapter of the Muslim holy book, the Qur'an. Its seven verses are a prayer for God's guidance, and stress His lordship and mercy. This chapter has an essential role in daily prayers; Muslims recite the Surah Al-Fatiha at least thirty-two times a day, at the start of each unit of prayer.


Muslims believe that the Qur'an is a revelation from Allah (Arabic for God). Translations into other languages are considered to be merely superficial "interpretations" of the meanings and not authentic versions of the Qur'an.

The Arabic text with transliteration and translation in English is as follows: [Qur'an 1:1].

1:1 بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيم

Bismillāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm
Beginning is with Allah's Personal Name Ar'Reh'maan Who is The Fountain of Infinite Mercy.

[Personal names are never translated in any language of the world[citation needed]- Proper names must be transcribed in the alphabet of other languages in the manner that a non native produces the same-as near sound as is in the original language]

Important to note and remember: Allah's Personal Name Ar'Reh'maan/الرَّحْمـَنِ is unique; exclusive; unprecedented [19:65]; this has no parallel, no dual, no plural, no feminine equivalent. Personal Names, unlike attributive/adjectival names/descriptions, never have duality and plurality and neither with personal names is done "feminization" or "masculinization"[citation needed]].

The Grand Qur'aan is that Book which concatenates facts in perfect sequence and chronological order. Its first word is a prepositional phrase بِسمِ "Beginning is with the code/name". This is the First scientific/physical fact of the physical worlds. The creation and for the created ones, the initiation of the process of learning/knowledge is but the "code/name". Nothing can be saved in human memory, as also that of computer, unless the code/name is known or is assigned to a thing/phenomenon.

اِسْمُ introduces, for the created ones, the concept-field, what is called Epistemology-Knowledge-in Arabic عِلْمٌ. Grand Qur'aan will keep unfolding the information about "Knowledge", in sequence and in such simple and plain manner that even without much of fatigue, which is experienced when we read about it starting with the Sophist, Gorgias, Protogoras and onwards, we will keep journeying smoothly and straight, step by step, knowing about it. Next time this word اِسْمُ relates it with imparting the Knowledge:

وَعَلَّمَ ءَادَمَ ٱلأَسْمَآءَ كُلَّهَا

And He taught Adam the particular/peculiar names of things, all of them. [Refer 2:31]

And with it additional information will be communicated to us by linking it with new words/concepts/data and eventually we will be told through our Guide Lord Muhammad Sal'lallaa'hoalaih'wa'salam the ultimate stage and the purpose of pursuit of knowledge:

قُلْ إِنَّمَآ أَعِظُكُمْ بِوَاحِدَةٍ أَن تَقُومُواْ لِلَّهِ مَثْنَىٰ وَفُرَادَىٰ ثُمَّ تَتَفَكَّرُواْ

You, the Messenger [Muhammad Sal'lallaa'hoalaih'wa'salam] tell them, "I only advise you people with one advice, that you people stand/find time for Allah [Absolute Truth and Fact] in twos and individually, thereafter reflect objectively keeping aside passions/emotions/prejudices/caprices/whims/conjectural myths to know the purpose of creation of things". [Refer 34:46]

Related with the beginning of physical world, the first trait of Ar'Reh'maan,introduced isالرَّحِيـمِ. Why?

كَتَبَ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ ٱلرَّحْمَةَ

"He of His own will prescribed/made The Mercy obligatory upon His Self". [Refer 6:12]

كَتَبَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ ٱلرَّحْمَةَ

"Your Sustainer Lord has by His own will prescribed/made The Mercy obligatory upon His Self". [Refer 6:54]

The Mercy, one will find, reflected and manifested in every trait and thing, above all one will find the Umbrella of The Mercy of Allah. And is reflective of the fact that creation is for determined purpose since creating things for playful purposes does not entail that one should prescribe for oneself to be ever merciful.

1:2 الْحَمْدُ للّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِين

Al ḥamdu lillāhi rabbi l-'ālamīn
The Infinite Glory and Praise stands specified eternally, entirely and exclusively for Allah, the Sustainer Lord of the Known/Existing Worlds-All that exists.

1:3 الرَّحمـنِ الرَّحِيم

Ar raḥmāni r-raḥīm
The Sustainer Lord of the Worlds is Ar'Reh'maan Who is The Fountain of Infinite Mercy.

1:4 مَـالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّين

Māliki yawmi d-dīn
Ar'Reh'maan is the Master/the Sovereign/the Authority/Holder of "The Day of Resurrection/Judgment and Requital".

1:5 إِيَّاك نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِين

Iyyāka na'budu wa iyyāka nasta'īn
[Our Sustainer Lord Ar'Reh'maan] You are the Only Whom we solely and exclusively owe and demonstrate allegiance and servitude and You are exclusively the One we look for help to elevate ourselves.

1:6 اهدِنَــــا الصِّرَاطَ المُستَقِيمَ

Ihdinā ṣ-ṣirāṭ al-mustaqīm
Our Sustainer Lord Ar'Reh'maan! You guide us upon the Path that keeps heading safely and straight to the destination of peace and tranquility;

1:7 صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِمْ غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّين

Ṣirāṭ al-laḏīna an'amta 'alayhim ġayril maġḍūbi 'alayhim walāḍ ḍāllīn
the Path journeyed by those upon whom You showered blessings, this Path/Course is other than of those who made themselves liable to criminal cognizance/arrest, and nor is of those ones who are the neglectful wanderers.


The first verse, transliterated as "bismillāhir rahmānir rahīm", may be familiar to non-Arabic speakers and non-Muslims because of its ubiquity in Arabic and Muslim societies. This verse appears at the start of every chapter in the Qur'an with the exception of the ninth chapter. The verse is normally said before reciting a chapter or part of a chapter during daily prayer, and also before public proclamations and indeed before many personal and everyday activities in many Arabic and Muslim societies as a way to invoke God's blessing and proclaim one's motives before an undertaking.

The two words "ar rahmān" and "ar rahīm" are often translated in English as "the beneficent" and "the merciful" or "the generous." They are often also translated as superlatives, for example, "the most generous" and "the most merciful". Grammatically the two words "rahmaan" and "raheem" are different linguistic forms of the triconsonantal root R-H-M, connoting "mercy". (For more information, see the section on root forms in Semitic languages). The form "rahmaan" denotes degree or extent, i.e., "most merciful," while "raheem" denotes time permanence, i.e., "ever merciful".

The second verse's "الحمد الله" ranks as one of the most popular phrases in all of Arabic, being used to express one's well-being, general happiness, or even consolation in a disaster (see Alhamdulillah). The verse is also significant in that it includes a relationship between the two most common names for God in Arabic "الله" and "رب". The first word is a ubiquitous name for God, and the second roughly translates to "Lord." It shares the same root with the Hebrew "rabbi". In some printings of the Qur'an, both words appear in red everywhere in the Qur'an.

The reading of the first word of the fourth verse, translated as "master/king" above, has been the subject of debate. The two main recitations, of the Qur'an, Warsh and Hafs, differ on whether it should be "maliki" with a short "a," which means "king" (Warsh, from Nafi'; Ibn Kathir; Ibn Amir; Abu 'Amr; Hamza), or "māliki" with a long "a," which means "master" or "owner" (Hafs, from Asim, and al-Kisa'i). Both "maliki" and "māliki" derive from the same triconsonantal root in Arabic, M-L-K. Both readings are considered valid by many practitioners, since both can be seen as describing God.

In the seventh verse, hadith inform us that "ġayril maġḍūbi 'alayhim" (those who earned your anger) refers to the Jews, who, according to Allah, abandoned practicing his religion; "walāḍ ḍāllīn" (those who went astray) refers to the Christians, who lost the knowledge and thus deserve less anger.[1][2][3]

In some Muslim societies, Al-Fatiha is traditionally read together by a couple to seal their engagement, however this act is not recorded in the sunnah and is seen by many to be an innovation.